Your Saturday morning reader — 8 must-read articles

by Stephen Tall on October 13, 2012

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion – Patrick Stokes at The Conversation argues that proper debate relies on contested claims based on relevant expertise: just holding to your own view ain’t enough.

Is The Economist left or right? – its digital editor Tom Standage answers the question ‘yes and no’: which can only mean that it’s really liberal.

Boris Johnson: The man who would be king – Andrew Gimson in The Spectator profiles “the Merry England maverick … already spoken of as a man for the top job or for no job at all”. And you can find out why I made Boris my CentreForum Liberal Hero of the Week here.

Liberalism’s Glass Jaw – Ross Douthat in the New York Times examines “the failures of the successes” of President Obama’s first term: “[the] lack of a plausible vision, more than his stutters and missed opportunities, is what doomed the president in last week’s debate. “

Jimmy Saville’s Knighthood: The Civil Service Rearguard – Damian McBride gives us the inside gen on the civil service’s rearguard action to block posthumous honours, including Gordon Brown’s attempts to have Alan Turing recognised.

Polling on abortion – Anthony Wells looks at what we know of public opinion — including that women voters are more likely than men, and Labour voters more likely than Conservatives, to favour a reduction in the abortion limit.

“Statutory” is not a bogey word – David Allen Green explains in the New Statesman why ‘statutory’ regulation of the press is not necessarily a bad thing, nor a good thing: “The crucial thing is whether any proposed scheme actually works, and in what ways.”

Are children less safe now? – Patrick Worrall analyses the contested data over at Channel 4#s FactCheck blog and sanely concludes: “there is no evidence that the most serious crimes against children are on the increase. There’s no statistical reason for parents to be more worried now than in previous years.”

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.